Rivers Studies at VCU!

River Studies and Leadership Certificate @ VCU
Rivers play a central role in shaping landscapes and creating biologically diverse and unique ecosystems; they also form the foundation of cultures, economies, and communities.  Rivers connect us to nature, to our past, and to each other.

Leaders of the future with an understanding of the fundamentals of river sciences, river-related policy and management, and river-based recreation and education will be best equipped to make sustainable decisions about future uses, studies and management of river systems around the world.

VCU is proud to be partnering with the River Management Society (RMS) and a cohort of eight other universities and colleges to offer the River Studies and Leadership Certificate program, awarded upon completion of river-focused coursework and a river-related professional project by RMS. VCU is the only school east of the Mississippi to offer a path to the certificate.

The certificate requires the completion of a core from 4 core areas, GIS, River safety, River Science, and River Policy, and then 2 additional courses in the student’s area of specialization,  River Science, River-based Policy and Management, or River-based Recreation, Education, and Tourism. The student then completes a river capstone/professional experience. It’s pretty straightforward – see the planning sheet here and list of most of the VCU applicable courses here (we have added a few new ones not on the spreadsheet) here. Note the certificate can be complete at either undergrad or grad levels.

Is the River Certificate right for you? If you are passionate about rivers and could imagine a river or water resource related career like these the answer may be, yes!

If you are interested in learning more about the program  email to James Vonesh (jrvonesh@vcu.edu).



February 7 – “Run Wild, Run Free”  {NEXT THURS}
6:30 pm @ the VCU Institute for Contemporary Art
Free – but need a ticket
Panel of expert speakers

March 27 – RSLC fundraiser @ Vasen Brewery
Short films by Freshwater Illustrated hosted by FI Director Jeremy Monroe and music by Muther Goose.

This is our big fundraiser for the RSLC program. Funds from last year’s Filmfest helped support VCU students to go to the River Management Society Meetings in Vancouver, WA in Oct 2018 and bring exciting river speakers to VCU. We need current RSLC students and recent alums to help promote and run the event. $$ raised supports YOU!

April 8 – Hidden Rivers VA premier @ Maymont Nature Center
A special showing of the new feature-length documentary highlighting the amazing biodiversity of SE USA streams and rivers. Introduced by Director Jeremy Monore.
Ticketed event. We need current RSLC students and recent alums to help promote and run the event. $$ raised supports YOU!

Wild and Scenic Film Festival- March 14

March 14th is International Action Day for Rivers & 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.

In celebration, the VCU chapter of the River Management Society’s River Studies & Leadership Certificate Program with support from Patagonia, Vasen Brewery, and the James River Outdoor Coalition is hosting the Wild & Scenic Film Festival featuring 10 short films spanning the watershed from the summit to sea.

The event starts at 7 pm at Vasen Brewery @ 3331 W Moore Street in Scott’s Addition, Richmond, Virginia. Updates and links to ticketing are here. Tickets are limited.

The River Studies and Leadership Certificate Program is an interdisciplinary program that combines learning about river science, geographic information systems (GIS), policy and river field experience with a chosen emphasis in one of three areas: river science, river-based policy, or river-based education, recreation and tourism.  RSLC students demonstrate “real-world” application of their knowledge and skills through professional experience or an internship with a river project.

Proceeds from ticket sales and a silent auction will be used to support the professional development of VCU river certificate students (e.g., small grants for novel river-focused service and scholarship).